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Nuts and Bolts: Keywords

September 9, 2015


How do people find your greeting cards at Greeting Card Universe? Usually either by doing an on-site search, or using a search engine, which is why your keywords are important.

When a user does a search, they enter words or phrases as their search terms, refining the terms as necessary to refine the results. Here’s an example: a shopper wants to buy a 59th birthday card for their aunt, who is a butterfly collector. They might search for “birthday card for aunt” or “59 birthday card for aunt.” Once they get the results for this search, they may want to refine the results further, such as “butterfly birthday card for 59 year old aunt.”

Are you starting to understand the importance of keywords? If you don’t use the right specific and relevant keywords when submitting your greeting cards to GCU, your cards won’t come up in search results, and you won’t make many sales.

Don’t use fraudulent keywords, though. Not only is it naughty, but I promise you won’t make many sales of misleading cards. GCU reviewers frown on the practice, too. You should be choosing keywords that are relevant to the card.

Do try to find unique keywords to help you stand out from the crowd.

Use GCU’s Traffic Analytics to show you what shoppers are searching for within any date range you select. When you’re logged in, go to MANAGE STORE > TRAFFIC ANALYTICS. You’ll be able to view a variety of reports including Top Overall Keywords (default), Google search keywords, Yahoo search keywords, Top Exit Pages, Top Landing Pages, Most Visited Pages, and All Traffic Sources.

(P.S. – This powerful tool also informs you what kind of cards you should consider adding to your store. For example , if 2,450 folks are searching for Nurse’s Day 2011, and you have no cards represented in the current crop on GCU, you’d best get designing if you want to get some of those sales next year.)

If you’re stuck for keyword ideas, there are other free tools that may help point you in the right direction.

For example, let’s take this card of mine:

The title is very important to search engines, so I’ve titled this card Christmas Tree – Believe – Customizable Photo Card. That should hit some of the right buttons. Next, I need keywords. Obvious choices are snow, Christmas ornament, personalized photo card. Notice I used “customizable” in the title and “personalized” in the keywords? That’s because different people will search for photo cards using different terms. I’m covering my bases.

Now I’ll check to see how I did. Opening a new tab in my browser, I go to Google AdWords: Keyword Tool.

When I plug words and phrases into this tool, it will tell me how many people are searching Google for these terms on a monthly basis, and it may give me ideas on other keywords I can include on my card. For demonstration purposes, I’ll start with just “greeting cards.”

“Christmas photo greeting cards” is on the list of terms people are looking for, so good thing I’ve got that covered in my title. Going further to look at “Christmas cards,” I see “personalized Christmas cards” and “customized Christmas cards” rank high with thousands of monthly searches, so I was right to include both terms in my title and keywords.

I also see  “modern Christmas card” and “contemporary Christmas card” are being searched, so I’ll include “modern” and “contemporary” in my keywords, as well as “fashionable” and “trendy.” Not misleading, since the design is everything I say it is. A thesaurus is sometimes an artist’s best friend! To conclude, in my Artist’s Notes section, I’ll write a little blurb and use words like “stylish” and “up to date” to increase the possibility of shoppers finding my card. I could take my searches even further, but for now I’m done.

While valuable, this free service has its limitations. It’s intended to help advertisers placing AdSense ads with Google, but it can be used to assist you in targeting sellers who are looking to buy the kind of greeting card you’re selling.

Another way to get a general idea of keywords other artists are using on cards in the same vein as yours is to enter this into the Google search box:

site: yourkeyword

Your search results will contain every card on GCU containing that keyword. By seeing what terms other artists have used in their keywords, you may get a better sense of what you need to include when uploading your own cards.

Suppose you want to confine your search to just Christmas cards, for example. Your Google search terms will look like this:

site: yourkeyword

Refine it even further to subcategories:

site: yourkeyword

And that’s how you do it. You can easily find out the URL you want to search by going to the GCU homepage, scrolling down the list of categories until you find the one you want, then refining your search to the sub-categories until you get where you want to go. Once you have the unique URL showing all cards in that category or sub-category, you’ll be able to search among those cards for specific keywords by using the Google search trick above.

I can’t emphasize this enough: make sure any keywords you choose are relevant to the card. In other words, don’t put “merry Christmas” in your keywords unless that phrase is on the front of your card or in the inside verse. The rule is to use only those keywords that describe your card AS IT ACTUALLY IS, not what you think it’s suitable for.

Yes, I know there are cards out there that break the rules. Please don’t get upset about what other people have done in the past. There was a time in GCU’s early days when cards weren’t reviewed, and some artists overdid things a little in their enthusiasm. Those days are long gone. It doesn’t really matter what somebody did years ago. What counts is what we’re doing today.

As a final note, just remember that if we, as artists, work hard to reduce the number of errors in our cards (including keyword mistakes and oversights), it will reduce the review times for everyone. Wouldn’t that be nice?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2015 1:38 pm

    Hi Corrie, Thanks for the info. But for some time now (over a year or more) the TRAFFIC ANALYTICS does not work – at least for me. I’m logged in, go to manage store, etc… but I do not get any reports at all. I think I saw something about this glitch some time ago in the Forum. It would be nice if it would work again, as it would be an important tool …
    Have a great day!
    🙂 Barbara

  2. Jules permalink
    September 9, 2015 9:58 pm

    I have the same problem: I have never been able to get Traffic Analytics to work (I thought it was just me…) I have tried it with Firefox and Internet Explorer in case it was a browser issue, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem. It sounds like an incredibly useful tool, if only it would work!

    Aside from that, another great article. Thank you Corrie!

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